The Rams have had discussions with multiple teams about a possible trade of running back Cam Akers, head coach Sean McVay said on Monday.
Akers was a healthy scratch from Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a move that McVay described as “a coach’s decision” due to the team’s confidence that second-year back Kyren Williams was ready to take over as lead rusher.
“I know [General Manager] Les [Snead] has talked to a handful of teams and worked with [Akers’ agent] David Mulugheta and seeing if there’s some interest for him out there,” McVay said, “and that’s the direction that we’re headed.”
When pressed whether Akers would return to the team if a trade doesn’t materialize, McVay said, “That won’t be something that is an option, that’s correct.”
This is the second season in a row in which Akers’ role with the team has become a point of contention, even if this one will come with a more definitive resolution.
Akers expected to be the lead back in 2022, a year removed from an Achilles tear and two from his rookie season in which he led the team in rushing. But the former second-round draft pick received just three handoffs in the season opener, and he left the team for about a month as the Rams looked to move him to another team.
When the trade deadline came and went without a deal last fall, Akers returned and eventually closed the season with three consecutive 100-yard performances. He expected to carry that momentum over into this season as the Rams’ primary ball carrier.
But in Week 1, Williams received much of the early-down work through the first three quarters, even if Akers got the start. Akers didn’t see much of the field until the fourth quarter and finished with 22 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown as the Rams ran the ball to kill the clock in the win.
McVay then spoke with Akers and his representation on Friday and Saturday of last week to explain why he would be inactive against the 49ers, conversations that he did not want to give too many details about when speaking with reporters on Monday.
“I feel very good about the clarity that was provided to both he and David Mulugheta in terms of why we’re at where we are,” McVay said. “It’s a combination of certain things with him but also some of the things with the confidence we have in Kyren and Ronnie Rivers and Zach Evans, and flexed up Royce Freeman [from practice squad]. So there’s a lot of layers to it, but I feel very good about the dialogue that’s existed.”
But in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday prior to the game, Akers expressed bewilderment about the decision, stating, “I’m just as confused as everybody else.”
“That’s unfortunate but I feel like it was very clear in regards to our dialogue, so that’s surprising to me,” McVay said. “I really care a lot about Cam and I’m appreciative of some of the things that we’ve gone through and where we ended up getting to in terms of our relationship and our ability to communicate clearly, which is why is kind of tough for me to hear that there is confusion. But I wish him nothing but the best.”
Williams scored two touchdowns against the 49ers, rushing for 52 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and catching six passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Rams right guard Joseph Noteboom left Sunday’s loss with a deep bruise of his shoulder, McVay said, but the injury that kept him out of most of the second half is not expected to impact his availability for Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.